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LETTER XV.

OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.

1

LETTER XV.

Dear Sir,

1824

WE

E are taught that the purification of the flesh through legal rites, was typical of the purification of the heart through faith in Christ. *

“ The law made nothing perfect t;" “ being but a shadow of the good things to come, it can never make the comers thereunto perfect.” | The priest and the sacrifices could never take away sins ; “ for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” S Wherefore the Jews only obtained a legal purification “ of the flesh :" but our merciful Redeemer both taught the necessity of a spiritual purification of the heart, and obtained that blessing for us. The prophets || had predicted the out-pouring of the Spirit of grace, and Christ declared the absolute need of regeneration s, to enable men to open their eyes, “ to turn them from darkness to light,

* Acts xv. 9.
# Ibid. x. 1.
|| Isai. liv. 19.
9 John iii. 3.

+ Heb. vii. 19.
§ Ibid. x. 4.
Ezek. xxxvi. 27.

Zach. xii. 10.

from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith.” * The Apostles also make this spiritual new birth the key-stone of their doctrine, as applied to the capability of man to receive the Gospel of Christ. Who ~ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it t;" “ that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of all good works t;" for God “ saved us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewal of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” S

When, therefore, the commandment respecting the Levitical priesthood was disannulled ||, and Christ abrogated the ceremonies of the altar. I He instituted the spiritual worship of the church. ?“ Ye worship,” He said to the woman of Samaria, “ye know not what, but the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." **

The prophet Malachi foretold the spreading of the Gospel,

« from the

* Acts xxvi. 18.
# Tit. ii. 14.
|| Heb. vii. 18. Gal. iv. 9.
** John iv. 23.

+ Eph. v. 26.
♡ Tit. iii. 5, 6.

Heb. x.

rising of the sun even to the going down of the same. And Christ is said by St. Paul “ to be head over all things to the church.” But as our blessed Redeemer is one of the Godhead,

being God,” all the angels also are commanded to worship Him. t 6. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” | Our Mediator and Re

. deemer has power, therefore, to obtain for us those peculiar and special blessings, which are promised in such full and glowing language throughout the inspired pages of the Gospel. These blessings, and the manner in which Christ obtained them, though the events of His life, and death, and resurrection, and ascension, and intercession, are generally familiar to you ; I shall, therefore, only shortly enumerate a few of them, to show the nature of their divine origin and spiritual influence.

He was offered to bear the sins of many He offered one sacrifice for sins for ever. || He condemned sin in the flesh. He came to give His life a

He

**

for many.

ransom

* Mal. i. 11.
| Phil. ii. 10, 11. .
| Ibid. x. 12.
** Mat. xx. 28.

+ Heb. i. 6.
ỹ Heb. ix. 28.

Rom. viii. 3.

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